Janice Issitt                    Life and Style

travel, interiors, photography, home, crafts, personal style

26 May 2013

Birds of a feather

Birds, birds, birds ... are featuring very high on the radar out here in the countryside, my other half did another rescue this week for Tiggywinkles where a duck had laid her eggs in a school courtyard, yes another one, safe from the perils of the wild yet in an area where there was no water or food and the newly hatched ducklings couldn't fly away from. Anyway, safe to say, another mum and her babies have now been relocated to a reservoir. 

Not long ago we found that a pair of swans had made a nest on the Grand Union Canal which runs near our village in Buckinghamshire.
They had laid eggs on their amazing floating nest and were working as a pair to build up the nest, one bird passing reeds to the other bird who wove them in. As we watched this amazing event we noticed, (and who couldn't), the amount of rubbish floating in the water around them. Plastic bags, drink cans, all manner of horrible human litter. 

As we were passing yesterday, on our way to look for antiques in Ampthill, we pulled over to find that the eggs had hatched and the proud parents, still working together as a pair, were safeguarding and protecting their lovely fluffy babies.

This is a lovely story, almost.  If you count the eggs and then count the signets you will see that we have one that didn't make it. When I looked down at the nest I could see the poor little thing. Who knows why it didn't survive, but when you see that in the nest right next to it seems to be part of a vacuum cleaner, is it any wonder. 

Heres hoping that the not so ugly ducklings, like in the song, turn into beautiful swans. 

One of my favourite shopping destinations is an Antiques Emporium in Ampthill. It has three floors of very keenly priced antiques and collectables, all housed in an old department store which has reinstated original shop fittings from a pharmacy. You never know what you will find here, and the most surprising item of the day had to be these platform shoes from the seventies. 

Ampthill, is like a lot of the small towns in middle England, a real blast from the past

The high street has all it original buildings, and some authentic old signs still in place. There is an abundance of thatched cottages and this week the Wisteria was in full bloom. I love this plant and have never had the patience to grow one, as they are so slow, I would love to have one on the front of the house just like this ...

To finish off with an interiors shot, I am photographing more of the Van Asch collection and when Ian brought home the nest made by the Duck he had rescued, it seemed appropriate to have it with this wonderful Bullfinch cushion. The cushion tells us to "Ponder" and maybe thats what we should do, about how the thoughtless actions of some can have a ripple effect. 

More knitting to come soon, Im now working on a jumper for the fairisle book mentioned before, its in a lovely combination of grey with orange and pink details, the wool is by Debbie Bliss, one I haven't used before, the Donegal tweed. When more of the project is complete I shall report back on my findings.

If the sun peeps through a bit more this week I can take some more photos, indoors and outdoors. Another trip to the bluebell woods was rained off but I do have plans for shots in the bright yellow rapeseed fields which are currently brightening up the landscape.. see you later.

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